Numerous police officers, check points and barricades placed in one of the most secure locations in the Capital failed to intercept a gang of bike borne assailants.
These men fled soon after their associates shot and robbed a collection agent aboard a bus in Gole Maket - barely 1.5 kilometre from the Parliament.
Police said the assailants fled with cash and jewellery amounting to Rs 11,000. But more shocking than the attack in a high security area was that the victim had Rs 8 lakh in cash strapped to his chest.
Police said Amlesh (34) and his colleague Lalu boarded a low-floor DTC bus, en route to Central Secretariat from Pahar Ganj, from the Gole Market bus stop around 5:20 p.m.
The duo worked as collection agents for a financial firm based in north Delhi and the victim's colleague was also carrying Rs 2 lakh in cash, strapped around his chest.
“The bus reduced its speed while turning into the Veer Savarkar Marg, barely 100 metres from the Gole Market roundabout. A man sitting next to Amlesh suddenly attempted to snatch and flee with his bag,” said a police officer.
“When he resisted, the man shot at him, injuring his left wrist. He then grabbed Amlesh’s bag and ran towards the door.”
The single shot reportedly created panic in the bus in which there were more than 20 passengers. “All the passengers, including the assailants, forced me to open both the bus doors,” said Jagdish (42), the bus driver. The four assailants then fled.
Bus conductor Suresh Kumar (47) said the men fled on two bikes which was following the bus for some time.
Shankar Dash, additional commissioner of police, New Delhi, said a case of robbery has been registered at Mandir Marg Police Station.
This is, however, not the first time that an incident involving a firearm has been reported from the highly sensitive New Delhi district.
On January 28, live cartridges were found near the Ashoka Hotel in the highly sensitive Chanakyapuri area.
Even incidents of chain snatching like the one in which a woman’s purse was snatched, metres away from the residence of L.K. Advani at Prithviraj Road on January 22, and another one in which a KV teacher’s chain was snatched at Mandir Marg on 15 January seem to have become commonplace.